A deficiency in his immune causing muscle weakness inspired Dennis Andaye to start his own companies that offer farmers and consumers’ nontoxic and healthy food.
“Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Dermatomyosistis the condition was as a result of a deficiency in my immune system, this made me change my perspective on life and how food plays an important role in our health,” said Andaye.
“Due to my health challenges, I wanted to offer people safe and nutritious food; organic foods, which have beneficial nutrients that not only build the physical but the mental needs of the body. I also wanted farmers to embrace the idea of producing food in the right way i.e. without use of chemicals, as well their lives transformed economically.”
Started in 2010 with about 10 farmers, at The Talisman in Karen, Organic Farmers Market has quickly grown to become a Centre for great food.
Organic farming involves using fertilizers of organic origin such as compost and green manure with emphasis on practices like crop rotation and mixed farming with prohibition of synthetic fertilizers.
In this type of farming farmers can save on costs that would have otherwise been used to purchase chemicals for pest control. Farmers produce higher prices for their products with the use of crop rotation to produce the same kind of crop yields.
In conventional type of farming an acre of land for planting maize for instance requires at least two bags of NPK fertilizer and two more of CAN meaning farmers can save up to Sh10,000 per acre in organic farming as compared to conventional.
Organic farmers market has successfully provided a platform for certified organic farmers and food vendors to trade their products and make it easy for clients to access the food directly from the producers.
By collaborating voluntarily in pursuit of a common group goal within this farmers’ market setup they are able to access knowledge and information they need to expand their capacities, to seize economic opportunities and to develop sustainable agricultural products.
“One of the biggest challenges I have is ensuring trust and credibility is upheld. When dealing with many people one has to bring all of them together and align them towards the same goal which is every individual deserves the right to have good and clean food,” he said.
“I want to make sure that my clients get food that is free of toxins and that the farmers and other healthy food producers in their network are in line and true to the course”
Organic Farmers Market provides Kenya Children’s Home with produce worth Ksh. 150,000 every month, helping to give the children in their care nutritious, balanced meals.
Andaye aspires to the day when everyone is eating organic and safe foods and farmers adopt the right production methods that do not harm the population and the environment.
“I want to see many other healthy food businesses thrive and make money, and see consumers embrace a different approach and be more cautious, observant and appreciative of where their food is grown, how it was grown and produced,” he said.